For more than a decade, a postal carrier in Bellevue, WA, has spread Christmas cheer along his mail route by donning a Santa Claus costume over his uniform for a few days leading up to Dec. 25. But after someone complained to the USPS about his Kris Kringle getup, the Santa costume will have to remain in his closet this year.
“The government is shutting me down because it’s a non-postal regulation uniform,” the 4-year USPS employee tells the Bellevue Reporter.
The carrier says he got the notion of dressing up like Santa several years ago after someone mentioned the resemblance. Since then, he’s apparently become a bit of a local celebrity, someone that Bellevue residents could rely on to play Santa when Christmas rolled around.
He even goes the extra step of dying his blonde hair white and making sure he has enough time to grow out the beard to the proper length in time for the holidays.regularly as both Santa and mailman. The residents know him well, and are always excited when Santa knows their name, he said.
But shortly after this past Thanksgiving, his supervisor let him know that a complaint had been filed about the whole Santa thing.
“This was the first time; I don’t know what happened,” he tells the Reporter. “I don’t step on anyone’s toes. Being Santa isn’t religious to me; it’s secular. It’s about giving.”
A rep for the USPS confirmed to the paper that the complaint actually came from one of his fellow carriers, and not someone on his route.
Because this is exactly the kind of thing that the Postal Service, with a debt the size of a small island nation, really needs to focus on right now.
Thanks to Bob for the tip!